I was part of an interesting conversation at a mall in Velachery, last week.

After watching a movie, a friend and I decided to get a cup of coffee to catch up on old times. We entered a Starbucks on the ground floor when I began to notice he wasn’t very comfortable with the surroundings.

“ This is too hi-fi”, he told me. ”I’d much rather prefer an Indian Coffee House.”

As someone who works at a branding and advertising agency in Chennai, I found this very interesting. Why? Well, it’s because it touched upon a very important and integral part of a company’s branding activity; the brand position.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a brand position is essentially an opinion a consumer associates with a brand. Let’s take the above example, for instance. From an Indian point of view, Starbucks is viewed as an international brand that caters its products to a sophisticated audience. In contrast, the Indian Coffee House is a more homely and affordable brand which has a strong sense of nostalgia.   

Why is there such a difference in opinion? Both these organisations are known for being brands that serve coffee yet their perception the minds of the public is starkly different.

That’s the role that brand position plays. It is vital in shaping the way people think of your company.

A brand position is where branding and marketing strategies are derived from. Therefore, understanding a brand position in the market is an important part of any branding process.

Here are 3 things you should consider when figuring out your brand position:

  1. Understand the ‘why’ of your brand: There’s a very interesting  TED Talk by Simon Sinek which explains how brands that understand why they do what they do, are more profitable. He goes on to show how brands that keep ‘why’ they work in mind while doing business are more successful.So take a step back and assess why your brand exists. Were you trying to introduce something new and unique? Or were you trying to improve on an existing service? Understanding this is an important step in figuring out where exactly your company fits in the market.
  2. Figure out who your target audience is: If you have a company or wish to start one, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. This is the first step in any branding process. Do you wish your brand to be perceived as a brand that appeals to all? Or are your products only meant for a niche audience?  For example, as a branding and advertising agency in Chennai, our target audience extend beyond just marketers and business owners in Chennai and around the world, but as a service-oriented business, we need to attract talent from our industry just as much as we need to attract clients.
  3. Creating your brand pillar and personality: Now that you know why you have your brand and who your target audience is, it’s time to create your brand pillar and brand personality. One of the most helpful ways to create a brand personality is to know how to make a brand pillar. Try summing your brand in a few words keeping in mind who you are targeting and what you’re trying to do. That’s your branding pillar. Its main purpose is to detail out the essence of your brand.Once you’ve nailed your pillar it’s time to give it a personality. Is your brand pillar focusing on innovation? Maybe your brand persona is a Steve Jobs. Or maybe you’re a rebel and more like a Madonna. Giving a face to your brand will help you establish exactly how you wish your brand to be perceived.

Do you have any steps you follow to develop your brand position? Let us know in the comments below.